I’ve had some traumatic experiences in my life. But I know God allowed me to go through these to help me grow and use them for His Glory. As an educator, I now use these trials to encourage my students. God blessed me with a sister and we were each other’s source of strength as young children. Our life was not conventional; some may even say it was hard; however, I believe some of those life lessons taught me how to be a survivor. As a young adult, my sister was killed in a car wreck. It was a devastating loss. Then in 2010, my friend and I were out for a run at 5:00 am. We had been training for a half marathon for 10 months. A car came over the hill and struck us both. Tragically, my friend was killed. I was flipped in the air and came crashing down on the windshield. I sustained 25 breaks and underwent 8 surgeries. Doctors said I’d never walk and they talked about amputating both my legs, but I objected. I knew immediately that God had chosen me to glorify Him through this horrendous experience. I didn’t know how, but I was determined to show everyone that He was real and He was still doing miracles. I was in the hospital for two months and in intense rehab for another ten months. Through this time, I never complained. I wanted my kids and friends to see that what I’d been telling them about Jesus was true. I needed to practice what I’d been preaching. Through the Lord’s grace, I did recover and I’m back running. As a teacher and now a middle school principal in a high poverty area, I come in contact with hundreds of kids from tough backgrounds. God put me in this situation for a reason. I share pieces of my journey with my students to encourage them. These kids know my story. They know when I tell them they can fight through adversity, they can see that right before their eyes. I love on them and let them know that God loves them. I give them hope and I embrace them. I want to live out Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
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